During this calendar year of 2012, I have been reading the Psalms unlike I ever have before. My plan since the start of the year has been to read the same Psalm two days in a row and meditate on that Psalm. In addition, I have been reading the Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon concerning each Psalm. Not only did Spurgeon comment on each verse in this literary treasure, he culled commentaries as far back as the 1500’s and included thoughts and comments from authors unheard of today. Talk about phenomenal insight!
Recently, I have noticed how dependent David was upon God. I find this fascinating because here you have a very successful man (even from a young age), who did not rely on his own strength, money, status, or fame. He truly poured out his heart to God on a regular basis and made known his dependence on God. It was as if David truly did believe that God was the only one who could see him through.
So many Christians today (including myself), rely on so many things other than God. We rely on our jobs, our credit, our country, our family, our physicians, etc,. and when all of those things fail, then we run to God. Oh, for a dependence upon God and God alone for our daily physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs!
The following story by Samuel Gipp illustrates so poignantly the truth that God alone is our salvation. I would love to hear your thoughts on this article and story…please comment!
God, A Rock, and a Bear
by Dr. Samuel Gipp
Young Charley Locksley came to California in 1849 seeking gold. That year, as he traveled toward town to retrieve his mail, he made a near fatal pause beneath a giant pine overlooking a 1000 foot drop to the Feather River. The scene before him was of breathtaking beauty. But that day there was something which desired to take young Charley’s breath away. As he drank in the beauty before him, he heard an unnatural noise behind him. He turned to investigate. Suddenly, a huge grizzly bear stepped out of the forest between him and the trail he had left. His only route of escape was cut off. Locksley stood there with no weapon and no escape. Death was certain as the huge animal moved toward him snarling and snapping its teeth together.
Knowing his death was certain, Locksley later said, “Alone, unarmed, I looked death in the face. I must meet it, and meet it like a man, it was useless to bemoan my fate; it seemed like folly to resist; better, far better, for me to submit with fortitude, and with Christian resignation meet this wretched death, which could not be otherwise than brief, sharp and decisive.”
As the fierce animal closed in for the kill, it rose to its hind legs and gave a mighty roar. Locksley, leaning his hand on a large stone outcropping for support, found his hand gripping a large stone which came loose in his hand. In desperation he hurled it into the beast’s mouth as it swiped him with its paw, slicing deeply into his side. Suddenly, the bear dropped to all fours and gagged. Locksley jumped on its back and straight up onto a tree branch that had previously been out of reach. From his perch, Locksley watched for horrified minutes as the beast thrashed, leaped and gagged. Locksley was about 15 feet above the ground and later said that at times the beast leaped higher than the limb he was perched on.
Finally, as the animal thrashed about, it lost its balance and fell over the cliff. Charley came down from the tree and continued his trip into town, telling those there of his near-miss with death. Some scoffed at his tale, so they trailed out of town to the base of the cliff where they found the body of the bear. A quick inspection found the rock lodged in the dead beast’s throat. Locksley later equated his victory as being similar to David’s victory over Goliath, guided by the same God. Fight On!
But if my memory serves me at all, it recalls a brief, but sincere prayer, uttered before what seemed an impending death, and addressed to the only Being who has ever responded to the cry of distress in moments of deadly peril.
Charles Locksley after his encounter with a rock and a bear